Starting 2011

How to Get A Great Start on a New Year – Organized Closets

October 2009: Consider organizing the hall closet.

April 2010: Remind yourself that you meant to organize the hall closet last year.

June 2010: Lose a child, locate child inside the hall closet.

October 2010: Suffer minor closed head injury from wine canister falling on you from the top of the hall closet.

Early December 2010: Mention to your husband your intention to organize the hall closet.

Mid December 2010: Commit to organizing the hall closet on your holiday vacation.

Late December 2010: Hope no one remembers your commitment to organizing the hall closet on your holiday vacation.

Morning of last day of holiday vacation December 2010: Husband asks if you were planning on organizing the hall closet. Remind husband that California is a community-property no-fault divorce state and that you know where the 401k funds are.

10:00 AM, last day of holiday vacation: Resign yourself to organizing the hall closet.

10:15 AM: Select mid-quality 140 proof liquor, pour three shots.

10:17 AM: Down final shot.

10:20 AM: Turn on playlist, dance around hallway to The Beatles “Twist and Shout.”

10:21 AM: Find your organizing groove.

10:22 AM: Misplace organizing groove in the hall closet.

10:22 – 11:15 AM: Empty hall closet.

11:16 AM: Advise family to avoid main hallway as throughway access no longer exists. Ignore desperate questions called from within their rooms about food or bathroom use.

12:30 PM: Refold 3,416 towels.

12:31 PM: Curse the makers of Clearasil and other towel-bleaching topical acne treatments.

12:32 PM: Curse the cats for using the towels as a scratching post.

12:33 PM: Curse your family for needing towels.

12:45 PM: Start digging through box of old pens. Locate remains of Jimmy Hoffa, the Crown of Nefertiti and potsherds from the lost city of Atlantis. Locate no working pens.

1:16 PM: Have hallucinations involving the elusive Rubber Maid, patron saint of household organization. Crawl in bleak desperation through the piles in the hallway toward this vision, certain that if you can touch her apron she will grant you three wishes. Decide emphatically that you will waste NO wishes on the organization of the hallway closet and plan tropical retirement instead.

1:17 PM: Reach the vision only to discover that what you thought was the Rubber Maid was actually one of the cats perched on a tower of wicker basket holding 14 years of receipts and cords to the BetaMax video recorder that you sold at a garage sale in 1987.

2:40 PM: Demand that your husband explain his need to maintain possession of three sets of Scrabble and an incomplete game of Clue. Mock husband derisively.

3:15 PM: Shout for the children. Demand that they line up, boot-camp style. March up and down in front of them like a deranged domestic drill sergeant shaking crumpled and unusable rolls of wrapping paper in front of their faces. Shriek at them about the national security threat that they are creating by stuffing rolls haphazardly into the back of the closet. Continue shrieking. If any of the children attempt to interrupt, explain, or shift blame stand face-to-face and scream at full volume, “AS YOU WERE, PRIVATE!!” Ignore tears or pleas for discharge.

4:00 PM: Place the last box of fully organized light-bulbs into its place in the closet. Distribute copies of the org chart to all family members. Require signatures of cooperation and compliance, witnessed, in triplicate.

4:30 PM: Refill shot glasses. Add an extra 3 for good measure.

It’s New Year’s for god’s sake.



Filed under Humor

75 Responses to Starting 2011

  1. Congratulations and Happy New Year! Now, come do my closet. πŸ˜‰

  2. Your hall closet looks better than mine did after I went through it this summer – Good job! Now – more shots for you. πŸ˜‰

  3. I don’t know if it would be possible without shots. Love the closet! Happy New Year!

    • At the point where things were actively falling on it and we were buying replacements of things we knew we owned but couldn’t find, I knew it was time.

      And let us all pray at the altar of The Good and Benevolent Wild Turkey…

  4. Whatever.

    You would’ve had much more fun with me at the mall.

    Although there’s something delicious about a clean closet. Not that I would know from personal experience. Just from your pictures..

    Happy New Year, babe! See you next week!

    • I have forbidden Himself from putting ANYTHING in that open space without prior authorization.

      Otherwise I will now have a nervous breakdown.


  5. What a fabulous closet!

    I’ve been telling myself the same thing about getting my basement organized. Somehow, as long as I don’t go down there too much, it’s out of sight out of mind. This post has given me some inspiration, so perhaps I’ll have to get busy on that basement this weekend.

    Now, where’s my shot glass… πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year!

  6. Oh Blessed Goddess Rubber Maid, it is beautiful. As a public service could you make available the compliance form?

  7. If I could only have the organizational skills that you possess. I’m slightly envious.
    Congrats on starting the New Year organized! Happy New Year!

  8. It looks great!

    Once the kids go back to school I swear I am organizing the pantry closet.

  9. Oooooooooooooooooooooh!! So the SHOTS are the secret to getting it done?? THAT’S where I went wrong!! Please now proceed to your nearest airport and get yourself to my house – STAT – and show me how it’s done!! I will provide booze, I promise!!

    Happy New Year!

  10. Beautiful! Makes me want to tackle our hall closet. Maybe in 2012 or so…

  11. WOW!! what a redo!! great job…what’s it like to have one of those hall closets??? Living in this little “chateau” (and I use that word loosely), we have no such thing as a hall closet. It looks like a great place to store all those things you have no idea where to put – the ones I’m too lazy to drop off at Goodwill πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!!

    • We have this giant double closet in the hall to make up for no actual storage anywhere else.

      When we first saw the closet we went, “Whoa…” then we realized that except for the bedroom closets that was pretty much IT we were not quite so enthusiastic.

      Also, the door access is much smaller than the closet interior so getting things in and out is something of a hassle. And often causes bruised arms.

      And, the cats like to hide in it.

      I HATE when a cat falls on me from the top of my closet.

      It’s disconcerting.

  12. Ha! I wrote a post like this a few weeks ago about cleaning my bathroom and bathroom closet. Although it was not nearly as funny or as detrimental to my children’s needs for food, water, or toilet.

  13. Well done and bravo, Lori. It’s stunning.

    I have recently tackled a hall closet myself, actually.

    If, by “tackle” and “myself” you got “was shagging a tranny for a while who liked to dress up as a maid and do my bidding.

    I do miss him-her sometimes…

    – B x

  14. Looks fabulous! I would take pictures of my organization projects but I am too exhausted and hung over from the task! See you next week!

  15. Your finished closet makes me yearn for a hall closet of my own, just so I can clean it out and make it that beautiful. Completing a chore like that always makes me feel so fresh and clean and accomplished. Yay for Lori!! Happy 2011.

  16. I am SO hiring you to organize my closets. And pantry. And gameroom.

    Crap, this could get expensive. But I like the filling of the shot glasses at the end, so maybe I can tackle this myself after all!

    Lest you forget, you were violently ill just a month ago with the dreaded First Flu in your county. Organization needed to wait.

  17. It looks amazing!

    I might be tempted to hire a security guard to monitor the closet and ensure that nobody de-organizes it.

  18. Sweet Vidalia Onions, that was a fantastic post! Love that you misplaced your organizational groove. I hate it when that happens. And if that final picture is the result of drunken organizing, I’m impressed. And invite you over to tackle my hall closet. And Drawer of Misc. in the kitchen. Because that drawer is no man’s land.

    Happy New Year, Lori!

    • Oooh….even with all the crazy organizing I did, I have not yet had the emotional fortitude for the junk drawer.

      Plus I’d need an additional insurance policy.

  19. I am impressed! I was able to tackle my 5-year-old daughter’s room before Christmas, and it is already a tornado again. Maybe if I tackle a closet, it will stand a chance of staying organized for longer. Gift and stationery closet … here I come!

    • You have a gift closet??

      Can I come select gifts???

      That is the most awesome thing EVER!!

      • Ha! Sounds much more glamorous than it really is! We refinished our second floor and there was a space that the chimney went through, so we enclosed that area and made a closet. I wish it stayed cleaner than it does, but it has become my room for gift wrap, cards, gifts, stationery, old teaching supplies, items to consign, etc. And you are welcome to browse for gifts at any time! πŸ™‚

  20. Your closet… my sink. I think we might have to be match makers.

  21. Pondside

    We had the same day – too weird. I now have a closet that I can leave open, if only to show people that I am one of those organized souls.

    • It did feel awfully gut-wrenching to close the door. But, since the doors are accordion style, leaving them open means you smack your face on them coming in from the garage.

      Sooooo sad, though!

  22. I can’t decide whether I like the organized closet, or the post about the organized closet, better. πŸ™‚

    Nicely done on both fronts! I love the part about deriding himself for his no longer functional games. πŸ™‚

    • He’s horrible!

      Also, we have every guitar magazine every published since 1976.


      He can’t tell me. Only that “He might need them.”

      How’s the new camera going???

  23. HILARIOUS!!!

    I will give you drinks to come here and organize my closets. Um, and the rest of my house.

    I need to stock up on lots of liquor.

    • Excellent plan.

      I found the aged scotch worked awfully well.

      But after the second or third shot, you can really give me just about anything and it’s not like i’m gonna notice.

  24. Ellachanted

    See, I knew I was doing it all wrong. I keep trying to organize without success.

    It’s obvious I forgot the shots. *running out to buy 140 proof alcohol and shot glasses*

    The closet looks great. Additionally I am amazed that after 3 shots of 70% alcohol that you could stack so straight. And are still alive. πŸ™‚

  25. I think you and I were doing the exact same thing this New Years. Filled up the garbage can, and took a shower at 4:00 pm. I didn’t want to stop fixing the mess I’d made.

    • I am still tripping on a few of the remnants of the mess in the hallway. We have a big pile for Good Will now and no one seems to want to take it to the garage.

      I plan on ignoring it until someone falls over it.

      As long as that someone isn’t me.

  26. I fully support both your methods and results.

  27. Nicole

    Wonderful job. I have 4 closets and an entire guest bedroom* to organize, do you make housecalls to Kentucky?

    *a 10′ x 11′ room in which there is NO bed, but there is 3 bookcases, 2 filing cabinets, a corner storage hutch, a small computer cart (sans computer), a rocking chair, 2 spare dining chairs, a crate holding every sweater I own (because there *is* no room in MY closet), my two wrapping paper Rubbermaid containers and my large Rubbermaid crate which holds all the bags, bows and ribbons which I purchased in previous years to ORGANIZE the damn Christmas wrappings. No, you cannot walk in this room…Interested?????

    • Nicole

      Oh, and I forgot one of my endtables and lamps from the living room is shoved in there because the Christmas tree is sitting where that table and lamp usually sits…

    • I would not want you to walk in that room, you’d clearly hurt yourself.

      Hmmm…house call to Kentucky. I could see the Derby!

  28. I like organized closets. I hate organizing closets.

    plus? we don’t have nearly enough closets.

    and? I clean to the Beatles too. They rock as cleaning motivation.

    • Yes, I think when the Beatles transitioned to Alanis Morisette was when my organizing groove vanished into nothingness.

      Cleaning can NOT Happen to “You Oughtta Know.”

  29. Mother Hen knew she left something out in her wonderful plans for the new coop! Dang! Now she has to replace the popcorn fountain with a fricking closet! Wait a minute — maybe the popcorn fountain can be IN the closet!

    Ms. Lori, you missed the most important factoid of all: How many Martha points do you get for The Great Closet Caper? Inquiring hens want to know!

    • Be careful with popcorn fountains IN closets. You risk a popcorn-alanche when you open the doors.

      And I’m still unsettled on the points. I really whined and threatened a lot. I think a good +10 or 11, but there may be an attitude penalty here.

  30. I am fucking impressed. Your hall closet now looks fab. And I am proud of you for taking shots during the process.
    PS- Adding you to my Google Reader NOW. Where the hell have you been all my life?

  31. I have a closet. I keep the door shut.
    It has 3boxesofoldalbums12emptycollectorcarboxes3foldingchairs1accordian3oldcoatsandIforgetwhatelse.
    Overachiever I think.

  32. I absolutely love you. Will you do my study next? I have liquor!

  33. You’ve inspired me to document my cleaning up of the toy room next time. I had Friday off and felt guilty for taking the kids to daycare (but we had to pay whether they went or not). I decided to use that time wisely. I was going to clean the playroom in the am, and take a nap after lunch, and pick them up from daycare early to ease that guilt. Ha. It took all day – ALL DAMN DAY – to clean that room. My hubs wanted me to clear out stuff to giveaway (because we’re nothing if not procrastinators about donating stuff before the end of the year). I took all the toys out of the playroom and found as many missing pieces as possible. Then I sorted them into piles. Sorting toys for Baby R., games for S, toys with wheels, etc. I made a separate pile of duplicates to put in the bin of toys we’re supposed to rotate out every couple of months (which I said I was going to do when they were born, but haven’t yet). If there were any other multiples, I put them in a pile to go to my parents’ house as they are part-time caregivers to add some flair to the old standbys there. Then if there happened to be a fourth variation of any of these, it went in the giveaway pile. Broken/useless toys went in the trash pile. Toys that are still a little too old for S went in a “future” pile. Toys that are too young for Baby R now went in a baby toy pile to pack away just in case a third kid ends up being decided upon. Then I cleaned all the toys as I put them away. The throw away pile had about 4 things in it. The giveaway pile, 3. The playroom looks as crowded as it did before, though admittedly tidier. No time for a nap – barely had time to scarf down a PB sandwich and pick up the kids LATE from the sitter’s. Major fail for the day. Plus I was exhausted and sore – yes, sore – I’m so out of shape. Sad. But at least DH can’t harp on me about it anymore, right? πŸ™‚

    • I am in AWE woman!

      +15 Martha Points for you.

      And it is truly obscene how long these things take.

      The closet took FOUR DAMNED HOURS.

      Which I’m sure breaks some closet-law somewhere.

  34. That is one lovely looking closet. As a Type-A personality myself, it’s a little sad how happy that last picture makes me. Just warm and fuzzy inside.

    I can’t help but wonder what you’ve got planned for the empty shelf, though.

    More Scrabble sets?
    Shot glasses?
    Liquor cabinet??

  35. At my house?

    If the closet door closes? Then whatever is contained within the space behind that door is organized enough. Once the door won’t close, though?

    It’s all going to Goodwill unless someone steps forth and claims it in the next ten minutes.

    I hate a door that won’t close.


    • I held that same philosophy for a fairly long period of time.

      Until things fell on me from the top shelf (really did happen) and I started buying stuff we ALREADY OWNED because I couldn’t find it in the damn closet.


      And I was fairly ruthless about the junk outage.

      I may not have even given a ten minute claim-period.

    • Every Saturday morning, when I was little, Mom would *rake* out our own closets and bedroom floor, into the hallway. Anything not in its place by noon went to the Salvation Army. And she meant it. (Mind you, this did not make me a tidier adult. My marriage is intact because my husband and I are equally untidy.)

  36. One of my chores today is to pick up huge plastic tubs with which to organize, mostly because I need to be able to stage things. Of course, those tubs will then be put in the garage and we’ll long wonder where the $thing went, but closets will be cleaner. My goal is that at least one third of the tubs will then be staged into cardboard boxes and thence to the thrift store, and another third will be staged into recycling and/or trash. (The remaining empty tubs will then be relabeled “baby clothes, stage 2″ and “baby clothes, stage 3″ because everyone knows that the age ranges on clothes are irrelevant, and “baby toys/stuff, stage 1″ etc.)

  37. Any fitted sheets in there and did you pass out before midnight?

  38. missyjo

    I had a million comments to leave on here, all through reading, and the only one that came to mind once I got to the brilliance of the end product was: We have Scattergories too. Man, I suck. LOL

    The closet looks truly grand though!! I need to do my bedroom closet, but my husband keeps piling stuff in front of it and I refuse to even start till I can open the door completely. πŸ˜‰ that’s a good excuse, right?

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